Thukten Zangpo 

From today, passengers will have to pay slightly more transport fare for travelling as revised public transport fare comes into effect from September 1. However, it does not apply to city buses. 

The Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority (BCTA) revised the taxi fare up by 4.7 percent and 6.99 percent for buses. The Authority revises the passenger transport fare twice a year, in February and August.

An official from the BCTA said that the fare depends on the type of vehicle and route. 

For 5 to 6-seater taxis carrying passenger intra-city, the fare was revised to Nu 24.06 from Nu 23.46 per kilometer. Suppose, four passengers travel in a taxi, each passenger has to pay only Nu 6 per person per kilometre.

At the same time, travelling inter-city, the revision was Nu 22.08 per kilometre from the existing Nu 21.36 per kilometre. 

For buses, the Authority has revised the fare depending on the bus type and distance categorised into slabs 1 to 5 (1-99km to 200+km). For example, a person travelling in a medium bus (13 to 24-seater) for a distance between 1-99 kilometres has to pay Nu 3.63 per kilometre from Nu 2.98 per kilometre. 

“The main contributors to the fare revision are fuel price, costs of spare parts and maintenance of vehicles,” an official said.

Despite the fuel price seeing a decrease by about 20 percent in the last six months between February to July this year from August last year to January this year, an official said that the other component outweighs the decrease. 

The average price of diesel was Nu 101.44 per litre and Nu 84.19 per litre for petrol, which decreased to Nu 73.88 per litre and Nu 72.47 per litre respectively in the latest revision.

While revising the fare, the Authority looks into three parameters-capital costs, variable costs, and fixed costs under 27 different dimensions keeping a 10 percent profit margin for the operators.

Capital costs include the average cost of vehicles, insurance, vehicle registration, scrap value of the vehicle, and business income tax over the past six months.

Variable costs include average fuel price, repairs and maintenance, tyre maintenance, mileage, administrative and communication costs, rental for ticket counter, and ticket printing costs. Fixed costs consider the driver’s salary, and renewal fee, among others.

Upon assessment, an official said that the taxi fare difference in the last six months comes to 4.7 percent which is equivalent to 5 percent. 

As per the Authority’s regulation, the revision of public transport fares would come if the fare assessment warrants 5 percent or more, upward increase or downward change from the existing fares. However, below 5 percent would mean no change in fare.

An official from BCTA urged the public to inform their nearest office or email at if they are overcharged.